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Comment Why are police terrible in general (Score 1) 173

Why are cops in cities terrible?
Is it because of bad apples? ( Maybe, but even good cops still do jerk things)
Is it because they have a lot of legal protection for bad behavior (maybe, but in the US you can get some restitution, and they can get punished)
It's really because police are just giant revenue generating machines for the city.
In order for a police officer to advance in his career, he is measured by the number of citations, summons, and arrests he has achieved.
And if performance is based on the number of bad things happening in your area, all of a sudden you see bad things happening everywhere.
A police officer does not get promoted for the number of old ladies he or she helps cross the street, the number of kittens retrieved from trees, or having effective patrols that result in zero incidences. They only get promoted for getting the high stats of bad actions.
And if police departments institute quotas, then you feel compelled to find a sucker (usually a minority or poor person because they lack the resources to fight back) to harass and induce them to break a minor infraction to get them into the station or write a citation.

Take away the performance metric of citations, summons and arrests, and you will have a much better police force who is delegated to truly being servants of the community rather than the rich and powerful.

Comment Pearson isn't incompenent but has ulterior motives (Score 3, Insightful) 663

While Bill Gates and others may talk about the declining state of education, there is a real movement by conservatives to use public money that funds education to enrich those who teach, by privatizing schools.

The Common Core is a strategy to standardize the curriculum across all the 50 states (which isn't a bad idea) but the people who write the standards and create the tests don't have our best interests at heart. By creating ludicrous tests, they are going to "prove" that the US students are failing terribly, especially those in public schools. Then there will be demands of reform, where they will promote pseudo public schools that use public funds ran in a for profit manner.

Once that happens, education which should not be a for profit enterprise, would be transformed into private enterprises that uses public funds to enrich companies like Pearson, Amplify, Thompson, etc.


Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"

Comment In Japan... (Score 1) 508

The Japanese call people who forget how to write characters "waa puro baka" which is a short way to say "Word Processor Idiocy".
However, even if today's youth are forgetting how to write on paper; the Japanese government has decided to revise the list of kanji Japanese citizens must learn to be considered literate. Thanks to IME's (input method editors) Japanese are starting to use hard to write Kanji more and more thanks to modern input systems.


Submission + - John Doe Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Orde (

suraj.sun writes: ‘John Doe’ Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Order After 6 Years

Nicholas Merrill, 37, the owner of Calyx Internet Access — a combination ISP and security consultancy — who mounted a high-profile court challenge to a secret FBI records demand has finally been partially released from a 6-year-old gag order that forced him to keep his role in the case a secret from even his closest friends and family. He can now identify himself and discuss the case, although he still can’t reveal what information the FBI sought.

Despite the fact that the FBI later dropped its demand for the records, Merrill was prohibited from telling his fiancée, friends or family members that he had received the letter or that he was embroiled in a lawsuit challenging its legitimacy.

"I hope my successful challenge to the FBI’s NSL gag power will empower others who may have received NSLs to speak out" Merrill said in a statement.

A national security letter is an informal administrative letter the FBI can use to secretly demand customer records from ISPs, financial institutions, libraries, insurance companies, travel agencies, stockbrokers, car dealerships and others. NSLs have been used since the 1980s, but the Patriot Act, passed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and a subsequent revision in 2003 expanded the kinds of records that could be obtained with an NSL.



Study Says Your Personality Doesn't Change After 1st Grade 221

A study authored by Christopher Nave, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, says that our personalities stay pretty much the same from early childhood all the way through old age. From the article: "Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse schoolchildren (grades 1 - 6) in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later. They examined four personality attributes - talkativeness (called verbal fluency), adaptability (cope well with new situations), impulsiveness and self-minimizing behavior (essentially being humble to the point of minimizing one's importance)." This must explain my overriding need to be first captain when we pick kickball teams at the office.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - ET is Phoning Us. We're Just on The Wrong Channel. (

RedEaredSlider writes: E.T. may be phoning us, but we've been listening the wrong way.
That's what Gregory Benford, a physicist at the University of California Irvine and science fiction author, thinks. And he wants to gather a whole lot of amateurs to do it right — and possibly find evidence of alien life. ...Aliens won't send out a continuous signal, but a pulsed one, in short bursts. "It's just not cost-effective," he said. "By many orders of magnitude it's cheaper to do broadband."


Submission + - Scientists discover "Long Life" gene (

ectotherm writes: Scientists have discovered the genes that lead to longevity in humans. Using a specific set of genetic markers, scientists predicted with 77-percent accuracy whether someone would live to a very old age.

Submission + - iPhone 4 LCD vs. Luminance/Chromaticity Meter (

An anonymous reader writes: Does the iPhone have the best LCD? PC Mag used a color meter to measure chromaticity and luminance off a few hot smarphones; they calculated and compared the following image quality factors:

Color Depth
Color Accuracy

The results are that the iPhone is the most well rounded LCD but there's only one area where it really falls short: Apple crippled the display's replication of the sRGB color gamut accuracy. The display's colors are under saturated by a whopping 36%....the Motorola DROID X's display are only under saturated by 6%.

Data Storage

Submission + - Motherboard eSATA Vs USB 3.0 Performance Explored (

MojoKid writes: "USB 3.0 and eSATA connections are slowly becoming more mainstream on various OEM motherboards and systems alike. Obviously eSATA is a native interface with comparable SATA-like speeds for direct attached storage devices and standard SATA drives. However, USB 3.0 has the promise of the ubiquity of USB 2.0, with competitive throughput versus eSATA, as you can see measured here in the coverage of this Gigabyte motherboard. As it turns out, USB 3.0 is the real deal, with only a couple of milliseconds of latency separating it from eSATA responsiveness but almost no variance in overall throughput."

Submission + - MS tech lets you put batteries in any way you want (

jangel writes: While its strategy for mobile devices might be a mess, Microsoft has announced something we'll all benefit from. The company's patented design for battery contacts will allow users of portable devices — digital cameras, flashlights, remote controls, toys, you name it — to insert their batteries in any direction. Compatible with AA and AAA cells, among others, the "InstaLoad" technology does not require special electronics or circuitry, the company claims.

Submission + - Halo Elite Cosplay Puts Others to Shame (

AndrewGOO9 writes: Pete Mander, a special effects artist from Ontario, Canada seems like he might have either had way too much time on his hands or just really enjoys Halo. Either way, this is one of those costumes that makes all of the cosplayers at a con feel like their best efforts just weren't quite up to par.

Submission + - Don Knuth announces iTex (

yowlanku writes: Christoper Adams tweeted live from TUG 2010 Conference that "Donald Knuth's TeX successor will be named iTeX." Sir Donald Knuth stated that he will make ``An Earthshaking Announcement'' at TeX's 32nd Anniversary Celebration on 30 June, apparently which turned out to be a joke. Satirically he also stated that this successor of TeX will have features like 3-D printing, animation, stereographic sound.

Submission + - What's happening to Wikileaks?

An anonymous reader writes: Wikileaks has fallen into disrepair: despite a backlog of 'thousands of documents' they haven't released a single leak in months, their TOR site is no longer operational and now their SSL certificate has expired, leaving few ways to contact them securely. We hear constant rumors of new releases and see Julian Assange in the headlines but very little substance from the site. It seems to me they need to shape up or it's time for a fork.... Wired has a good post with details:

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